The 6-year-old boy who shot his first-grader teacher at a Virginia school had a history of disturbing behavior, including swearing at staff, attempting to whip students with his belt and choking a teacher, according to a legal Note sent to the school board.
The allegations were detailed in a Jan. 24 legal notice from attorney Diane Toscano, who sent the letter to the Newport News school board to notify officials of a lawsuit brought by her client, teacher Abigail Zwerner, against administrators of the Richneck Elementary School plans to submit.
The student shot and wounded Zwerner on January 6, seriously injuring her with a bullet that hit her chest. She was discharged from the hospital more than a week after the shooting.
The child showed some warning signs of violence, according to the cases described by Toscano in the legal notice. The student’s family previously said the child has a disability.
Two days before the shooting, the student allegedly “slammed” and smashed Zwerner’s cell phone and verbally abused the student advisors, which led to his suspension, according to the document. After the one-day suspension, he returned to Zwerner’s classroom and shot her.
On the day of the shooting, another teacher was overheard Zwerner saying the 6-year-old student was in a “violent mood,” had threatened to beat up a kindergartener at school, and “glared angrily at the security guard,” according to the legal notice.
Parker was allegedly briefed on reports that a gun was at the school around 12:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting, but instead of calling the police, “they failed to follow proper protocol and chose to do absolutely nothing.” , according to the legal notice. According to the ad, Zwerner was shot at around 2 p.m.
“It’s a miracle that more people didn’t get hurt,” says the imprint. “The shooter spent his entire recess with a gun in his pocket … with his hand in that pocket while many first years were playing,” the masthead reads.
CNN obtained the legal notice Tuesday from the Newport News School District through a Freedom of Information Act request. The district did not comment, other than making the document available to CNN.
Parker resigned on Jan. 25, nearly three weeks after the shooting and a day after the legal notice was sent to the school board. CNN reached out to Parker for comment Tuesday, but didn’t immediately receive a response.
After the shooting, the school closed for about three weeks and returned with extra security measures like metal detectors and see-through backpacks.
The district’s response was swift, and the school board voted to remove Superintendent Dr. George Parker III Briana Foster Newton, the former principal of Richneck Elementary School, was transferred to another location, but the district didn’t say where.
Pamela Branch, an attorney for Newton, said the former principal was unaware of the gun at school.
“The fact is, those who knew that the student might have had a gun on the premises that day did not report it to Mrs. Newton at all,” Branch said.
The school district previously told CNN that it could not comment on whether Newton or anyone else was alerted to a potential weapon on campus because it was part of an ongoing investigation.